6 Ways your dog is saying ‘I love you’ in dog language
Most humans are not fluent in “dog” so let me translate some of the ways us canines express our love.
- Gazing lovingly into your eyes. Oxytocin is released when your dog gazes into your eyes, this exchange makes each participant feel so good. This is the same bonding chemical released between moms and new-born babies. Nelson, my soppy English Pointer brother, will often sit and have a long “conversations” gazing into Mom’s eyes. He is a bit over dramatic at the best of times, often trying to convince her that he should be an only dog. Most of all his gaze simply says, “I love you”.
- We get excited when you come home. Let me explain. For us, our humans are our world. When they walk through the door it’s like Christmas morning… every time (no matter how long you have been gone). We know our human’s habits and could most probably tell you about more about their bowel movements, what shampoo they use and what they are feeling. We watch and observe them all the time. Don’t be too hard on us, our excitement is hard to contain.
- Leaning on you or cuddling. Olivia, my deaf Great Dane sibling, is a big leaner. She often comes along and gently, at first, starts to lean against her favourite human’s legs. Soon all her 65kgs of weight is being shared as she leans in for a cuddle and scratch behind the ears.
- Bringing you our favourite toy or other ‘gifts’. I always bring mom something as a gesture of my love. These tokens of deep affection can range from my favourite smelly toy to a highly prized dead mole. This gesture according to human experts apparently confirms that your dog views you as his/her their pack-leader and this is an outpouring of their love.
- Sleeping with you or near you. In the wild dogs would have travelled, hunted, and slept together as a pack. The consensus seems to be is that dogs don’t want to be separate from you, even in sleep mode. This can be controversial and there are many different opinions on whether your dog should sleep with or near you. Please consult with your behavioural vet if you are experiencing problems. I can only speak from personal experience; I love being close to my humans.
- You move, we move. Dogs show their love by following their dog parents around, yes, even to the loo. Keeping you in their site is a way of protecting you and gives them a sense of security.
There are very few things that trump the unconditional love of a dog. I hope that each human experiences this companionship and each dog has a human to spend their days right.